Are you thinking about using 3D printing services for your next production order?
When you’re 3D printing for production, the stakes are much higher than when you’re only getting a prototype made. It’s the difference between needing one physical object to represent your part. . . and needing potentially thousands of the same thing.
It’s critical to identify the proper materials, technologies, Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) considerations, and processes to make sure you get your desired results.
But how do you know you’re making the right choices? Additive manufacturing is constantly evolving, so it can be hard to keep up with current best practices. To avoid making critical mistakes in your production 3D printing order, you need a team of experts who can guide you in the right direction. So without further ado, let’s review the top risks to avoid when 3D printing for production.
Avoid These Top Risks When 3D Printing for Production
Using the wrong material.
Markforged materials are known for their incredible strength, rigidity, and durability. Because of this reputation, many people default to using Markforged materials when they need an exceptionally strong part.
But if your part has complex geometries or must withstand a high magnitude of isotropic force, these factors can compromise its overall strength.
Rather than relying on just one set of materials for a high-strength part, consider the mechanical properties of your application to determine the ideal material.
Using the wrong technology.
Some technologies are more compatible with certain materials than others. If you need a specific material to produce the mechanical properties your part requires, there may be 3D printing technologies that will give you the best results.
We’ll never force materials and technologies that don’t work well together.
It’s rare that we’re unable to do what a customer needs in-house. But in the event that we can’t, we’ll still do whatever it takes to find a solution—whether proposing alternative materials and technologies that we do have or recommending another trusted shop.
Designing a part for the wrong manufacturing process.
There’s a common assumption that you can design virtually anything for 3D printing.Although it’s true that 3D printing allows for more design freedom than traditional manufacturing, there are still best practices that can improve budget, turnaround, and quality—factors that are especially important for production quantities.
For example, 3D printed parts that are unusually large or small are generally more expensive to make. For the most cost-effective 3D part, your bounding box—the smallest cube possible that could contain the part—should be in the range of 3” to 6” square.
(To view a full list of DfAM considerations, check out our blog post, What Makes a Good 3D Printed Part?)
Choosing the wrong additive manufacturing partner.
It’s easy enough to shop around for the cheapest 3D printing services—or even send your parts to multiple vendors to cut costs further. But if you don’t have a trusted additive manufacturing partner, you risk getting parts that are imperfect and inconsistent. These mistakes can cost you even more money in the long run.
The best way to get your production parts done right the first time is to work with a trusted additive manufacturing partner like Re3DTech.
As a solutions provider, we’re always willing to go the extra mile for our customers. We know that many people are just getting started with additive manufacturing, and we’re always happy to offer our expert advice and assurance that their design will work.
Wondering when to bring us into the process? The ideal time for us to help you with 3D printing for production is when you have a preliminary design. That way, we can identify any potential modifications to optimize your parts for full production or bridge manufacturing—whatever the case may be